House not dragging feet on alleged gun incident

The Parliamentary committee mandated to investigate an alleged altercation between two sitting Members of Parliament is not dragging its feet on probing the matter.

A “concerned” Carrington, broke his silence on the matter this morning as he responded to a newspaper report quoting Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Dale Marshall, one of the MPs involved, as voicing dissatisfaction with how the issue had been handled.

Marshall’s comments were made at a Barbados Labour Party mass meeting on Sunday night at Britton’s Hill, St. Michael. The speaker told members he was concerned about certain aspects of the reported statements “because to my mind it reflects badly” on him “as the chairman of the Committee of Privileges and it also reflects on this House”.

He was also concerned about Marshall’s statements on the investigation of the alleged gun incident involving himself and St. Philip West MP, Dr. David Estwick.

“That to my mind gives the impression that … there is something amiss and the Committee of Privileges has not met to deal with it. That is not true. Every effort has been made to convene the committee,” he explained.

“It met on the first occasion where we circulated some material with respect to procedure and how we intended to proceed. After that we have had difficulties in getting a quorum and we have had difficulties because of the lack of attendance from both government members and member of the opposition.

“On the last occasion when we met we had a quorum where the two members of the Opposition on the committee were in attendance but at that meeting one of those members indicated that they had seen something in relation to the matter and therefore it was felt best for her recuse herself from the committee,” he added.

Not pleased

Carrington said he was therefore not pleased to read “what appears to be really a reference and an indictment of speaker in his capacity of chairman of the Committee of Privileges”. Carrington also took issue with Parliament being called poor-rakey.

“I would think it regrettable if those words indeed came from a member of this House. All I could say is that if we are saying so then it reflects on all of us,” he said.

“I believe it is up to the membership to decide whether they want to raise any particular matters in this regard, but I will not sit back and allow any member from either side of the House to make statements which in my view have the potential to bring this Parliament into disrepute or to lower the dignity or decorum of this honorable house of assembly.” (SC)

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